Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, 24 January 1811

To John Wayles Eppes

Monticello Jan. 24. 11.

Dear Sir

The Chronological appendix to the paper I sent you on the subject of Louisiana had been retained, as I conjectured, in the Secretary of State’s office, from which I have since recieved it, & now inclose it to you. it is an indispensable companion to the other as referring to the authorities for the several facts stated in that. the subject of your closed doors is perfectly secret here. I conjecture & hope it is on taking possession of E. Florida. it would end in your paying at the conclusion of peace, the price we were disposed to give for it (seven millions.) deducting three millions due us from Spain for spoliations. and this I would do, whether required or not.

Francis enjoys perfect health, and is in his first Latin declension. I shall turn him over to Jefferson during my absence in Bedford to which place I set out in two or three days, & shall be absent 3. or 4. weeks. I am in hopes the next post will bring the papers I wrote for in my letter to you of the 10th as in Bedford I should have full leisure to make the requisite use of them.

I have just read your Orleans act. you should have limited that state Westwardly by the Sabine river & thence North to it’s Northern boundary. it would give no discontent now, but may be difficult if not impracticable hereafter. this would not have relinquished your claim further Westwardly more than the limitation to the Iberville relinquishes our claim further Eastwd

always affectionately yours

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “J. W. Eppes.” Enclosure: TJ’s Chronology of Territorial Claims in Louisiana, [ca. 31 Aug. 1803] (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 41:323–9).

TJ advocated taking possession of East Florida as early as 1804 as compensation for outstanding spoliations claims against Spain (TJ to James Madison, 6 July 1804 [DLC: Madison Papers]). On 15 Jan. 1811 the United States House of Representatives passed an act “to enable the People of the Territory of Orleans to form a Constitution and State Government, and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, and for other purposes.” It became law on 20 Feb. 1811 (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States description ends , 7:481–5; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States . . . 1789 to March 3, 1845, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:641–3).

Index Entries

  • An Act to enable the people of the Territory of Orleans to form a constitution and state government (1811) search
  • Congress, U.S.; and Orleans Territory act search
  • East Florida; TJ favors U.S. seizure of search
  • education; Latin search
  • Eppes, Francis Wayles (TJ’s grandson); education of, at Monticello search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); letters to search
  • Florida; acquisition of by U.S. search
  • Graham, John; and “Chronological Series of Facts Relative to Louisiana,” search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Chronological Series of Facts Relative to Louisiana search
  • Latin; study of search
  • Louisiana (Spanish and French colony); “Chronological Series of Facts relative to Louisiana” (Jefferson) search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); schooling at search
  • Orleans Territory; and statehood search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ plans visit to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); mentioned search
  • Sabine River search
  • Spain; and W. Fla. search
  • State Department, U.S.; “Chronological Series of Facts relative to Louisiana,” search
  • “Chronological Series of Facts relative to Louisiana” (Thomas Jefferson) search